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Chandra J writes to President on appointing independent advisors

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14 July 2018

President Maithripala Sirisena,

President of Sri Lanka,

Presidential Secretariat,

Janadhipathi Mawatha,

Colombo 1.

Dear Mr. President,

Appoint independent advisors to law enforcement and revenue agencies and key regulators

In order to provide an independent mechanism to ensure oversight, a public network link and legal/policy reforms visionary outlook facilitation, it is appealed that You and the Cabinet, kindly evaluate the priority need to appoint, independent advisors to each of the key law enforcement agencies, revenue agencies and the key regulatory bodies, noted below:

1.Attorney General’s Department, reporting direct to the Attorney General,

2.Criminal Investigations Department, Financial Crimes Investigation Department and Bribery and Corruption Commission, reporting to the Inspector General of Police and Bribery Commission

3.Collectively covering the Inland Revenue, Customs and Excise Departments, independently reporting to the respective heads of these functions

4.Collectively covering Financial Intelligence Unit, Securities Exchange Commission and Insurance Regulator and Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board, reporting to the respective heads of these regulators

Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Public Utilities Commission reporting to their respective chairpersons

The respective independent advisors, being senior and experienced officers of the Public Service (e.g. from the Judiciary, Attorney Generals Department, Central Bank, Administrative Services linked to management/operational audit), with proven integrity, leadership ability and relevant capability (knowledge, skills, attitudes and values) may be seconded to the posts of advisors and be tasked to independently, lead with accountability a newly established unit in a role linked to;

  • Independent case study and lessons learnt reviews, environmental scans, reviews of international and local law and policy developments, policy and operational development scans, market innovations and consequential challenge tracking and research-led development of legal, policy and regulatory reform recommendations;
  • Oversight review of independence/just and fairness/efficiency/effectiveness and economy 
  • of :
  • assigned law enforcement activities and goals and designated tasks, 
  • Investigations, 
  • Prosecutions,
  • Complaints and appeals handling, 
  •  Risks, controls and compliance processes, and 
  • Associated systems, procedures and processes ;
  • Oversight management and operational review of
  • intra agency coordination and support facilitation effectiveness,
  • Intelligence and evidence collection, collation, dissemination and decision making,
  • Database and records management efficiency and effectiveness,
  • International mutual assistance facilitations;
  • Oversight review of internal and external whistle blower report handling procedures;
  • Oversight review over public complaints on the independence/just and fairness/efficiency/effectiveness and economy of all operational activities;
  • Oversight review of public communications and public relations:

The respective offices of the independent advisors must be provided with capable support staff, with requisite expertise, ICT and other facilities for effective functioning.

It is believed that many of the key challenges of the functions referred to above can be overcome with the implementation of the above recommendation and thus enable the Government led by you, to deliver on its promises of effective good governance, rule of law and justice.

Yours sincerely,

Chandra Jayaratne

Cc Prime Minister

Attorney General

Secretary to the President

Minister of Finance

Inspector General of Police

Chairman and Secretary START

Minister of Law and Order

Heads of law enforcement agencies

Media – For public communications 

Minister of Justice

Heads of Revenue Services

Secretary to the Cabinet

Heads of Regulatory Agencies

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